Simmons: Georgia, Texas A&M Closing In On Alabama

Alabama has a recruiting peer in Georgia, and Jimbo Fisher, to his credit, isn't far behind

Tiki and Tierney
December 19, 2018 - 8:19 pm

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Recruiting classes are still taking shape around the country, but after the early signing period Wednesday, the SEC is sitting pretty, as Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU were ranked one through fourth, respectively, in the class rankings, per 24/7 Sports.

“Those guys are recruiting at another level, in particular Alabama and Georgia,” 24/7 Director of Scouting Barton Simmons said on Tiki and Tierney. “It’s sort of been a two-team battle for two years now in Alabama/Georgia. When you watch on Saturdays, when those teams have played in the national championship and the SEC Championship, you can tell. The level of talent is very similar. I think we’re in for a stretch here for a long time – really the foreseeable future where Georgia and Alabama are kind of peers on the football field and on the recruiting trail. It’s been a long time since we could say we had a peer for Alabama on the recruiting trail.”

A&M is closing on the Tide as well. Jimbo Fisher went 8-4 in his first season in College Station, but he is laying the ground work for a contender.

“So much trickles down from the head coach – the emphasis that’s placed on recruiting, what your recruiting operation looks at,” Simmons said. “When you talk to the people around that Texas A&M program, they’re in awe at Jimbo Fisher and how good of a job he does when kids get on campus, how much time and effort they put into the evaluation process. And look, Texas A&M has recruited well. Under Kevin Sumlin, they recruited well. They were top-10, top-11 type classes year in and year out. 

“But there is a distinct difference between a No. 10 class and a No. 3 class,” Simmons continued. “There are tiers to this, and that’s a level up. When you’re getting in that top-three or -four range, the roster is going to start to look dramatically different. This is step one, I think, for Texas A&M. If you look at the body type they’re bringing in, they’re the type of guys we see at Alabama, the type of guys that set a tone from a physical standpoint.”

A&M has a tough 2019 schedule. The Aggies play at Clemson, at Georgia, at LSU and host Alabama.

“I am convinced that Texas A&M will have the personnel to compete with Alabama and LSU,” Simmons said. “I’m not saying it’s this year, but over the next couple of years, they are going to build out the personnel to allow them to compete with Alabama.”